Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Travel on Tuesday to Greece

Spring is in the air!  Figuratively and literally speaking!  Our family geography project called Travel on Tuesday takes us to the beautiful Mediterranean paradise of Greece today.   It was a beautiful day to be outdoors and my daughter decided that she wanted to decorate her club house for the occasion.  Travel on Tuesday has always been a child-initiated adventure for us so I happily complied.  We used an outdated calendar to decorate and create the scene and let the sunshine do the rest!

While we were still outside, the kids enjoyed making their mosaic craft.  The history of mosaics dates back thousands of years but it was in the 4th century B.C. in Greece when mosaics became an art form.  This is a photo of a 2400+ year old mosaic out in the open air for all to see on the island of Delos.  It is one of hundreds on this island that are still lying in the very place they were intended. 

Because of the varying ages of the kids, I decided on 2 different styles of mosaics for our craft project.  The first:  We used cut paper squares to fill in a pattern I hand drew that represented the Mediterranean Sea.   Here is the before and after of the paper mosaic:

The second:  We made homemade play dough, pressed it into salsa lids and used glass rocks and tile pieces to have a 3 dimensional mosaic.

Because of the strong wind we decided to move the adventure indoors.  It gave us an opportunity to use little trinkets we collected over the years from friends and family that have traveled to Greece such as the miniature Parthenon.  The kids colored their flags, and practiced spelling and locating Greece on the map.

Today, I would have loved to have a couple of Greek moms in my kitchen with me to help with meal preparations.  I have a Greek cookbook, and it is not very often that you will come across an authentic recipe that takes less than 3 hours and feeds less than 20.  Food and family meals are important traditions in the Greek household.  I was able to find dolmades (stuffed grapevine leaves), and tiropitakia (filo dough stuffed cheese triangles) already prepared.  I was hoping to find the spanakopitakia (small spinach stuffed filo triangles) but the store was out presumably because Greek Independence Day is right around the corner.  All I had to do was season the meat for the bifteki souvlaki, and cut the horiatiki salad (no lettuce in this salad!).  I am so thankful to live in a city where finding international foods is as easy as visiting the local supermarket.  It makes Travel on Tuesday that much easier to not have the pressure of doing it all yourself, or making everything from scratch.

During dinner we talked about 2 important events.  The first is that the ancient Greeks invented democracy and that we are in a major election year here in the United States.  My oldest (in middle school) is learning about the constitution of the United States and was fascinated with the fact that ideals about our government are rooted in ancient Greek political culture. 

The second thing we discussed is the Olympic Games which were also invented by the ancient Greeks.  If you ever watch the Olympic Games, you will notice that the Greek Olympians (and the Greek flag) are the first to parade in opening and closing ceremonies even though all other countries march alphabetically.  That is to honor them as inventors of this world-wide sport which promoted peace between countries during ancient times and still supports the same mission.   Get ready for this year’s summer Olympics in London by visiting this link: www.london2012.com.

The only rule we have had with Travel on Tuesday since its inception in 2002 is that we do not repeat the same country in a year.  However, since the kids always enjoy Travel on Tuesday to Greece, we “make it out there” at least once a year!  :)

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Check out the video of Greece on the Wander Our World app!  

Download the app here: www.wanderourworld.com.  It’s the perfect app for little kids who are curious about the world.  The app is completely child-initiated, child narrated, and easy to use.


  1. How wonderful!!! Very inspiring. Congratulations for this..Really. I was looking for some Delos mosaics for my blog and found your post.

    1. Thank you, Mosaicology! I checked out your blog and had to re-post that video of the Santa Barbara mosaic from Ravenna. Just awesome. Thank you for finding us and for your thoughtful comments! :)